Reach Assessment GRADUATION POST
This is my second time going through the Kenzai Reach program. The first time two years ago was a challenge. I was suffering from sciatic pain. Thanks to doctor’s advice, medication and Kenzai Reach I managed to overcome the pain and return to a normal pattern of life.
This time I did not have the pain to contend with or to blame for my ineptness at completing the exercises. I complained a lot, particularly about the poses requiring motion. I was angry at myself at not being able to lift my leg into the air or to bend all the way down to the floor while stretching my arm upward into the air.
Looking back, I can give a fairly accurate assessment of my efforts in terms of how the exercises helped me in my daily life.
I find I am more grounded. The Mountain Pose and San Salutation, for example, made me more aware of my feet touching Mother Earth. When I do my morning cardio, walking to the market, or climbing steps, I actually feel my feet touching the ground.
I find I can bend down more easily and deeper. Whenever I drop something on the floor, or whenever I tie my shoe strings I can bend over without the stiffness in my lower back that normally accompanied my bending over movement.
I find I can get into positions I normally would not have gotten into. I complained a lot about the exercises involving motion, but upon reflection, I did stretch muscles and parts of the body I had not made use of for a long time. As a result, I feel looser and more flexible.
I find I am more patient. The evening exercises required me to remain in a position for one to five minutes. In daily life,I am more patient when standing in line, waiting for a bus or train, or waiting for a server at a restaurant to bring me my food. (Imagination, perhaps?)
Would I recommend this program to others? Indeed, yes. Particularly to people like me who are older and/or who spend a lot of time humped over desks staring into monitors. I would caution them to be patient and to realize their bodies are going to raise a lot of resistence. The results, however, are worth all the effort and discomfort.
Thank you to those who commented on my blog. And a special thank you to Kim for the kind and helpful comments.
With nostalgic energy I completed the stretches today with greater emphasis getting them done correctly within my stiff frame work. I know i complained a lot, but I tried each exercise and you know what? I found positive results in my daily life. I can bend down to tie my shoes without feeling cautionary stiffness in my lower back. For a person 76 years old, that is quite an accomplishment. Also, after the morning exercises, my morning stiffness disappears. So many daily life accomplishments thanks to daily stretching. I look forward to tomorrow to see if I can complete the movements with greater ease.
I picked the poses I completed for Monday to Thursday. I wanted to enjoy the Reach Program in the final week. Today and Tomorrow I will complete all the required poses, as usual, with varying degrees of success. Hard to believe the program ends on Sunday.
End of Week 7 Photos reveal I have a way to go before I can touch my toes. But I am getting there.
Late rising this morning only to discover the rain falling outside. During the break in the weather, I sped outside and completed the cardio and exercises. I reviewed my blogs over the last few days and saw I did a lot of complaining about not being able to do a particular stretch. Well, in the final week I will not complain. In fact I will write my next blog on Day 56 when I post my graduation blog. Instead, I will focus on getting ‘that leg in the air’, reaching down to my toes, and going back to enjoying the stretching. See you next week.
I completed the morning and afternoon stretches, but I ran out of steam in the evening. I did not feel like doing the third stretch — the front split. Just one more week to go. I’m looking forward to the conclusion. Yes, I’m suffering from a short-timer’s attitude.
Completed the exercises with modifications and props. (I need to hold something to keep me balanced when lifting leg into the air when doing the Warrior 1 motion.) I was sweating while doing the evening stretches. I dislike AC, so I manage to sweat even when sitting down.
Completed a chapter in my writing project, had an amiable conversation with a Jehovah Witness who came to the door, went to my penultimate visit to the dentist. Next visit I will get a crown made from a 3D printer. How Star Wars is that!
I completed the stretching exercises with varying degrees of success.
I completed the exercises. I had trouble with the Triangle Flow. What I need to do is to practice each step of the flow until I get it down. But the problem I have I cannot lower my hand to the floor and lift my leg up followed by lifting up my leg. Once again I performed ineptly. Ten days left. I'll give it my best shots.
Completed the stretches. Once again I encountered problems with the flow, the Warrior I Flow. I did manage to do a barely reasonable facsimile of the flow. However, I think I need studio work to have the instructor and the other participants help me with hands on assistance. As it is, I must overcome the stiffness, while also thinking about the balancing, while emptying my mind of negative thoughts, while emulating the young man in the photo.
Anyway, I feel looser and more flexible despite the obstacles. No pain, no gain.
Addendum: I finished watching this youtube about what it takes to become a Shen Yun Dancer. I feel inspired.
I really have difficulty each time a new position or motion is introduced. I tried the Warrior II Flow/Half Moon. But I was so inept I used the table for support to lift my leg up into the air, well at least halfway up . And the final wide angle forward bend at night still gives me problems. I don’t seem to be getting any closer to the floor with my arms. My elbows are miles away from any contact with Mother Earth.
Despite all my grousing, I do enjoy giving the stretches a try.
Yesterday I went to the spa and soaked in the medicinal waters. Yes, I did some stretches while in the hot water and by golly I could stretch my legs flat. I woke up early this morning and completed the cardio and exercises. Feeling good. As you can see from my End of Week 6 photo, I am still pretty stiff, but I can bend down farther than before. Also the scales at the spa announced I had lost 4 kilos (8 pounds) since the start of the program. Following a strict diet is paying off.
Today I kept the exercises in their proper time frames — morning, afternoon and evening. No attitude problems today. I completed the stretches with the usual varying degrees of successes.
I was a bit tired this evening. I completed the afternoon stretches with varying success. By the time I got to the evening stretches my mind rebelled at having to spend the full time on the final two. I think I will go back to doing the afternoon stretches in the afternoon and the evening ones in the evening.
There is an old Fred Astaire song and dance routine called I Don’t Dance. Tonight I couldn’t dance and didn’t. I had a lot of difficulty getting into that pose. One time I got a cramp. So I gave that pose a skip. The others I completed in varying degrees of success.